UK insurance companies, brokers, providers and intermediaries take advantage of the car insurance group ratings system to provide the correct level of motor insurance.
Group ratings are purely advisory and insurers put car models into twenty groups. This means that each model of car can be accurately banded with cars of similar characteristics.
Insurance bands are used by many car insurers as just one of the many input factors in calculating premiums. As such, they can provide a useful indicator of the likely relative cost of insuring a particular vehicle. Insurers are not required to follow the advisory group ratings.
The factors used to calculate group ratings are:
Damage and Parts Costs
The likely extent of damage to each car model and the cost of the parts involved in its repair. The lower these costs, the more likelihood there is of a lower group rating.
Longer repair times mean higher costs and the greater likelihood of a higher group rating. Different paint finishes on modern cars are an important factor. These, too, are taken into account
New Car Values
The prices of new cars identify the higher specification models within a model range.
The availability of body shells (the basic frame of the car) is taken into account in group ratings because they are essential for certain accidental damage repairs.
Acceleration and top speed are important factors. Insurers know very well, from their claims statistics, that high performance cars often result in more frequent insurance claims.
Security features fitted as standard equipment by motor manufacturers can help to reduce insurance claims costs. Such features include high security door locks, alarm/immobilisation systems, glass etching, coded audio equipment, locking devices for alloy wheels and visible VIN numbers.
If you’re looking to save money and get a cheaper car insurance premium, it’s worth thinking about how the insurance group your car is in affects your car insurance premium. Cars in lower insurance groups attract a lower premium, so it’s worth understanding how insurance groups work.
For more information on how the insurance groups are worked out you can visit Motor Insurance Information sheet, provided by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).